In 2010 when this book was released, I was working at Borders. I was at the register working on autopilot, when a customer surprised me by explaining that she was an author and could she speak to my manager?
He walked over and she immediately introduced herself as Elaine Meryl Brown and explained that she noticed her book, The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women was not out with the new hardcover books on display, and also that it had been categorized under African American Studies (the catch all for any black-people-specific non-fiction). She requested that it be moved to the business section. And my manager listened (albeit not without grumbling).
Maybe it was just because I had never seen anyone speak to my manager like that, with confidence. But I bought a copy of the book that day….and then it took me three years to get around to reading it.
Since I was in college when I impulsively bought it, I felt silly, as I though I wasn’t working a “real” job yet. I felt I had jumped the gun. So I set the book aside and didn’t pick it up again until after graduation. Turns out, it probably would have been a good idea to read it a bit sooner.
I found myself nodding along to much of the common sense and practical advice offered by the authors (Ms. Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean). I’d learned from experience and by reading tons on career development in other places to, for example, expand your professional network and levy skills gained outside of the office. However, what makes this book most valuable is the unique perspective offered from the authors: black women who made it to the corporate executive suite and wish to pass on their wisdom. Seriously, it’s so refreshing to read someone considering the disadvantages and emphasizing the strengths that come with being a woman of color in business. That alone makes The Little Black Book of Success a great book for any woman of color, at any level in their career. (They run the advice gamut from entry level to CEO advice). It’s an empowering and reassuring read. Great gift for ambitious ladies.
I’m going to try and get going on here again, but it may be a bit.
Terry Tempest Williams, “Why I Write”